:: Sunday, April 16, 2006 ::
Rats n birds
phtoography: I hesitate to think that this blog is winding down, but it seems to be more time between posts. Not the dozen or so a week that used to be the routine in the not so distance past. Seems like photography and not writing is the priority. And I absolutely enjoy photography and the results I am getting. It is another form of creativity. :)
I drove out n about North West of the city on thursday and chased a family or two of Turkey Vultures for more than an hour from Hyde Park road, all the way up through Coldstream to where I got the image above. They were finally staying put riding thermals around some farm silos on Coldstream road. I got some OK shots from the side road but would have been tiny. So I walked into the farm field down a rough hedge line and got closer I was within 100 feet as they took their turns taking off from their high perch on the old stone silo. They were wheeling overhead and moving pretty fast and tough to get a focus lock on to say the least. I moved in closer hoping to get a shot with them flying and the buildings in the background, but I finally spooked them and they flew off East. Was pretty cool to get that close though.
Not much later I was more or less soon to head back and I crossed a small bridge on Nairn Creek. I saw two... something... in the water swimming in tandem so I pulled over and went back. I thought they were otters, but I am originally from Toronto and the only wildlife I saw were squirrils and raccooons. :) They were initially spooked by me and dove underwater and I thought I was out of luck then one or the other would surface and swim around. They would somehow sneak by me and go from one side of the bridge to the other underwater. And I dashed over the road to the otherside back and forth a couple of times. OK about six times over the space of 45 mins.
Eventually I took a rock perch on one side and sat still with the flies. a couple of times one of them got really close, but even the clicking of the shutter would cause them to twitch and dive. In one of the back and forths I got a straight down shot from the lip of the bridge looking down into the shallow murky green brown muddy water.
As one went to the far side I decided I would briefly go over there and sit on the edge and if nothing happened I would leave. I sat watching the animal for about 30 mins. It got braver and braver. Swimming closer to me then away. Closer and away. Diving in the deeper water and surfacing on the otherside and disappearing into a little hole under the reeds on the far side. It was chirping as it made it's approaches. It was on one of the last approaches - as light was failing, my leg was falling asleep and the ants were annoying - where I got this shot. It was about three feet out into the water. After some research, I discovered the animal is a river rat, not an otter, or a regular rat. Pretty cool seeing these guys. And as I stood up to leave I startled a giant crane that took off and swooped very close overhead. It must have been there for some time watching me watching the river rats. A great day all together. :)
:: Mike Wood 12:14 [+] ::
I don't mind that there is time between your posts, it makes it easier to catch up when I've been lazy. I like that you tell where and when pictures were taken - it adds more reality to them and makes it all look easy to us amateur photographers. Kind of like watching the house shows on the weekend where they lay a hardwood floor in a day... lol